Several years ago, I was at a friend’s house for dinner, and I saw this amazing utensil hanging from a pot rack in her kitchen. It was a large, stainless steel cone, with a long handle. The cone part was made with the finest stainless steel mesh you can imagine. I asked her about it, and she explained that it was a chinois, and she used it when she needed a very fine strainer for soups or sauces. She’d purchased in Paris, at the famous kitchenware store, E. Dehillerin. Well, I knew at once, that I needed one. It didn’t occur to me that they probably could be purchased in Toronto, at a good restaurant supply. I think I secretly felt it would be far cooler to wait until I had a chance to go to Paris, and buy one myself, which I did a few years later.
I used that chinois several times a week; it was a terrific tool. However, I washed it in the dishwasher, which, as it turns out wasn’t a great thing to do. Over time, the heat of the dishwasher caused the mesh part to separate from the rest of the chinois … it was attached with a rubber gasket, which I think became brittle after one too many exposures to strong detergents and high heat.
I got a new one (at a local store), and it seems to be of much sturdier construction.
Anyway, a chinois is a must-have piece of equipment if you like to strain stocks and broths to that they are very, very clear. The only other alternative is to use cheesecloth, which is fine, but a little messy.
Copyright (C) 2015, Allan Risk. All rights reserved.